Putin Tells Qatar's Emir Russia Wants Diplomatic Solution to Crises

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"We have moved from severing diplomatic relations to a comprehensive blockade of global conventions and human rights conventions, not only for Qataris but also for citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries", Marri told a press conference on Tuesday evening.

- Kuwait's emir left Saudi Arabia after what state news agency KUNA described as a "brotherly visit" but there was no word on the outcome of the talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the rift. The FBI recently sent a team of investigators to Doha, Qatar's capital, to help the Qatari government investigate the alleged hacking incident, Qatari and U.S. government officials said. "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end of the horror of terrorism!" That's despite accusations that Saudi Arabia, too, finances terrorism.

Tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia - a Middle East heavyweight - bubbled to the surface two weeks ago when Qatar said its state-run news agency and its Twitter account were hacked to publish a fake story claiming the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had called Iran "a regional and Islamic power that can not be ignored".

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the Republican chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, says he wasn't aware of Trump remarks about Qatar and appeared surprised when reporters described what the president had tweeted.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE used to be the biggest markets by the number of available seats for Qatar Airways. The White House hopes to see the issue "de-escalated" and "resolved immediately", he said.

Ticket holders for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE can also rebook to fly to nearby destinations in Kuwait or Oman, while passengers holding tickets to Egypt can choose flights to Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon or Oman.

Since being controversially chosen by Federation Internationale de Football Association in 2010 as the host, Qatar has maintained that it is a politically secure nation despite its location in a volatile region.

"UAE have banned Qatari nationals from transiting through UAE, so we're looking to see if that affects any passengers", Qantas Airways global chief executive Gareth Evans said.

News of the payment enraged the Saudis and set off the unprecedented action by the Arab states that has left the oil-and-gas-rich tiny state of Qatar under siege.

Al-Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, has always been a source of conflict between Qatar and its neighbours, who accuse the broadcaster of bias and fomenting trouble in the region. Yemen's internationally backed government, which has lost the capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya's competing governments.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was ready to back "all initiatives to encourage calm".

The story was picked up by several news organizations in the Middle East, and the emir's comments were severely criticized by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some 10,000 military personnel are stationed at the Al-Udeid airbase.

Qatar is an important U.S. ally in the Persian Gulf, and serves as headquarters of the U.S. Central Command.

Meanwhile, the Philippines announced it will temporarily suspend the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar.

The diplomatic crisis sweeping the Gulf could invigorate a campaign by critics of Qatar to strip Doha of the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar's credit rating was lowered on Wednesday, in the latest fallout from the decision by a group of neighbouring countries to cut diplomatic and trade ties.

"And I think every country in the region has their own obligations they need to live up to, and they have their own challenges to live up to that commitment to terminate support for terrorism, extremism, however it manifests itself anywhere in the world", he added.

The ban imposed earlier this week has meant that container ships and other types of vessels sailing to and from Qatar will be prevented from calling at major ports in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which include Jebel Ali, as well as Bahrain. Qatar denies supporting extremism. A spokeswoman for the Qatari embassy in Washington said the investigation is ongoing and its results would be released publicly soon. The ransom, which Iraqi officials said was in the "hundreds of millions of dollars", was believed to have been paid to militias with close ties to Tehran.